Relax – four blissful nights in Busselton and Margaret River
Indulge – in artisan cheese and world class wines
Wonder – at the ancient beauty of Jewel Cave
Marvel – at whales from land or on a whale watching cruise
Pick up your hire car from Perth Airport or the city and drive south towards Busselton. Just before Busselton, take the scenic Tuart Drive through the last remaining tuart forest in the world. Stop in at the bird hide on Layman Road for fantastic nature spotting across the wetland. Arrive in Busselton and head to the glorious Geographe Bay – a beautiful place to swim, SUP or stay for lunch. Dine with a view at one of the foreshore cafes in the Busselton Jetty Precinct – The Goose Beach Bar & Kitchen or The Equinox Cafe.
Take a stroll along the 151-year-old, heritage-listed Busselton Jetty that stretches 1.8 kilometres into Geographe Bay. Or sit back and relax on the Jetty Train. At the end of the jetty, descending 8 metres beneath the waters’ surface, where you can view the amazing coral and abundant fish life within the Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory.
Call in to the Busselton Visitor Centre for the latest seasonal activities and a great map of hundreds of cellar doors, foodie outlets and art galleries to explore and more! Pick up a free map and magazine.
Head to Aqua Resort, understated luxury accommodation on the shores of the Geographe Bay. Located at the gateway of the Margaret River Wine Region the resort is conveniently located only a short drive away from Busselton, Dunsborough and Margaret River.
Nestled in eight and half acres of mature peppermint woodlands and stunningly landscaped gardens, Aqua Resort offers luxury beach front accommodation with direct beach access. Capturing the quintessential spirit of the Australian beach house holiday the resort provides uncompromising privacy and the very best of contemporary indoor and outdoor living.
You can take advantage of world class resort facilities such as the 25 metre infinity lap pool, a well equipped gymnasium, steam room, full size tennis court, stand-up paddle board and bike hire.
Head into Busselton for dinner at The Equinox. You can dine alfresco under the fig trees or inside soaking up the 180 degrees of Geographe Bay and the Busselton Jetty, the perfect spot to take in an amazing sunset while enjoying one of their famous cocktails.
Overnight – Aqua Resort
Add some adventure!
Spend a couple of hours ziplining through the magnificent Ludlow Tuart forest on your way into Busselton. Forest Adventures South West has a world-class setup of flying foxes, tarzan ropes, ladders and suspended bridges and it’s a truly awesome, adrenaline and fun-packed experience.
See the jetty from 10,000ft then land on the beach next to it with Skydive Geronimo Busselton, or if you prefer to remain in the aircraft, take in the view with a Scenic Helicopters or Tiger Moth Adventure Flight.
Enjoy breakfast in your apartment (you’ll find a small supermarket moments from the resort) or treat yourself to a café brekkie in town. You’ll need to fill up ahead of today’s adventures!
Start the day with a swim and coffee in Yallingup. Enjoy the breath-taking view as you drive round the corner into the seaside town. There’s a lagoon enclosed by reef which is perfect for children and less confident swimmers as the water is shallow and relatively calm. Watch the surfers at Yallingup mainbreak and Rabbits which is further up the beach. Take a 45 minute walk along the beach – it’s a magical experience.
It’s time for some wine tasting, and we love Windance Estate. It’s a family-owned winery about 5 minutes south of Yallingup. Drew and Rosemary Brent-White established the winery and developed a great reputation for their fruit-driven wines and friendly, relaxed cellar door.
It’s a favourite amongst locals, and you’ll see why. Their daughter Billie and her winemaker husband Tyke Wheatley took over the reins a few years ago, and have created a lovely new cellar door space that still retains the same charm.
Try their award-winning Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, and send home a case – you’ll find that many wineries offer International and Australia-wide shipping.
Ready for a bite to eat? We recommend you book at Yarri, Dunsborough’s latest hot spot with glowing reviews. The restaurant is the brain-child of Snake and Herring partners – Redmond Sweeny, Sal and Tony Davis. They partnered with head chef Aaron Carr to present locally produced ingredients and prepare mouth watering dishes. Prices are reasonable but the food quality is exceptional. When ordering a wine at lunch (which you must) – take note – all their wines are named after songs!
After lunch drive to Howard Park Wines. They are Margaret River and Great Southern wine specialists, producing the MadFish, Howard Park and Marchand & Burch wine labels.
The winding drive into the estate really sets the scene; an avenue of trees, a lush valley and bridge over a small brook. The winery and cellar door received acclaim for its architecture winning the commercial category award from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 2000, also judged among Australia’s top 12 buildings, incorporating traditional feng shui principles with contemporary Australian design.
Taste an array of wines across their three ranges; Howard Park wines are elegant, handcrafted wines made from Margaret River and Great Southern grapes. Be sure to try their Méthode Traditionelle sparkling wines, riesling and chardonnay.
MadFish are fun, drink-now wines – perfect for midweek parties and BBQs. The sweet pink moscato is a favourite, alongside the pinot gris and Malbec.
Marchand & Burch is the collaborative effort of Frenchman Pascal Marchand and Howard Park owner Jeff Burch who bonded over a shared love of Pinot Noir. Together they produce some outstanding French and Australian wines – like nothing else you’ll taste in the south west.
Take a break from wine tasting and refresh the palette at The Grove. Savour the spirit based liqueurs made in their distillery as well as their range of boutique beers brewed on site. If you want to experience something really different and interesting, you must join in on a ‘Talk & Taste’ up at the Still House. See the Still in action and have a chat with the distiller before enjoying a tasting at cellar door.
Next up visit Gabriel Chocolate for a delicious afternoon tea of hot chocolate, brownie or one of their legendary warm cookies.
Try dinner at Amelia Park Lodge which is a three minute drive from the resort.
Overnight – Aqua Resort, Busselton
Today you switch accommodation from Busselton to Margaret River, and go whale watching! Check out of your resort after breakfast, and if you’re visiting June to August, head to Augusta for a whale watching cruise. September to December, join a boat in Dunsborough.
If you’re visiting the region between September and December head straight to Dunsborough for the 10am whale watching cruise with Naturaliste Charters Whale Watching and Eco Tours. Tours depart the pro fisherman’s boat ramp in Geographe Bay Road, Dunsborough, at 10am and 2pm. There’s also a sunset whale watching cruise departing Dunsborough at 4.30pm.
Alternatively, if you’re visiting during winter head down the highway towards Augusta. Naturaliste Charters Whale Watching and Eco Tours have cruises departing Augusta Harbour daily at 10am and 2pm throughout June, July and August, so we recommend booking the 2pm tour and spending a relaxing morning in Margaret River town.
Your first stop is Margaret River town. Enjoy a walk along one of the river trails or stroll through the cosmopolitan town, checking out the shops, art galleries and cafes. Then continue on the highway south to Western Australia’s most south-westerly town, Augusta.
During winter, southern right whales, humpbacks and rare blue whales are in Flinders Bay, Augusta. This is the northernmost point in the southern right whales’ annual migration. Humpbacks and blue whales will continue their journey north to the warm Kimberley waters where the give birth and suckle their calves. They pass through Geographe Bay on their return journey south in spring. Find out more about their annual migration.
Naturaliste Charters have a new 20 metre catamaran, purpose-built for optimal viewing, comfort and stability. Their staff have backgrounds in marine science, so as well as being awed by the amazing whales, you can learn plenty about their migration and habits.
Following the tour, continue to Australia’s tallest mainland lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin. Go to the top of this working lighthouse and enjoy breathtaking views across the treacherous oceans and Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.
Enjoy a coffee or light meal at the Cape Leeuwin Cafe, while keeping an eye out for rare rock parrots, petrels, albatross and gannets. After some of the world’s best coastal sightseeing, head back towards your accommodation via scenic Caves Road.
Continue north on Caves Road to the towering Boranup Karri Forest. Stop at the lookout and take in the enormity of the planet’s third tallest tree or deviate into the forest to completely absorb the forest environment.
Head north along Caves Road and turn right onto Wallcliffe Road. Travel back towards Margaret River town, but just before you reach the town, turn right into Stay Margaret River, your home for the next two nights. Check in and enjoy the hotel’s facilities, have a glass of wine by the restaurant fireplace, go for a walk on Gnarabup Beach, or head up to Surfers Point to watch the surfers as the sun goes down.
Have dinner at the in-house restaurant Willow Grill, or walk into town (Margaret River is 1.5km or a 15 minute walk).
Overnight – Stay Margaret River
Marvel at an ancient cave
Try to find time in your schedule to visit the award-winning Jewel Cave in Augusta. This spectacular, highly decorative ancient cave with its three massive chambers is Western Australia’s biggest show cave. Enter through the architecturally designed Jewel Cave Preservation Centre which features retail facilities, light refreshments and an interpretive centre.
Relax and let McLeod Tours take you on their Eat, Drink, Explore Tour which visits some of the region’s loveliest boutique wineries. You’ll do a guided coffee tasting at Yahava, visit four excellent wineries for tastings including a barrel tasting, lunch at a craft brewery, check out a chocolate company and try more tasty delicacies such as locally made cheese and olive oil.
Start the day with a guided coffee tasting at Yahava KoffeeWorks. They travel the world sourcing beans, and roast them to perfection just moments from Margaret River. You’ll take in 2 wineries in the morning, usually Redgate and Watershed but sometimes McHenry Hohnen or Stella Bella, sampling some incredible wines from respected and award-winning wineries. Lunch is at the renowned Cowaramup Brewery.
In the afternoon you’ll go behind the scenes at Fermoy Estate, for an exclusive wine tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon straight from the barrel. Margaret River is known for producing some of the worlds best Cabernets and Fermoy is no exception. You’ll visit one more winery, a chocolate company, cheese producer and sample local olives, oils and jams.
The tour takes you through spectacular country; you’ll spy karri forest, kangaroos, lush vineyards and bush land.
Freshen up after the tour and go for dinner in Margaret River town; there’s plenty of excellent options.
Overnight – Stay Margaret River
It’s time to check out of Stay Margaret River and begin the journey home.
Enjoy the coastal lifestyle with a morning walk along the beach, watching the powerful waves roll in across the reef. Have breakfast at The White Elephant Beach Cafe – famous for its beachfront location and delicious breakfasts.
If you fancy getting active before your breaky, book in for a Stand Up Paddle Lesson with Standup Surfing. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned SUP’er, the team at Standup Surfing have something for you. Their paddle to breakfast experience allows you to enjoy that bacon and egg burger at White Elephant guilt free, after working every muscle paddling to get there. For the ultimate test of balance, flexibility and coordination try a SUP yoga lesson. Even if you don’t consider yourself a yogi, you are bound to have a laugh trying!
Start your journey north, allowing time to explore some more of the farm gates, cellar doors, brewing companies, providores, chocolate companies, olive oil producers and galleries.
Stop in at the Margaret River Dairy Company – they make the most delicious cheese and yoghurt. Their story began in 1966 when a group of Italian artisan cheese makers started selling their wares in Perth. In 1990 they moved to the south west to be closer to the rich soils and rolling green pastures loved by dairy cattle.
Through a viewing window, you can watch as milk is turned into cheese and then transferred to cheese hoops, where the fresh, aromatic cheese curd is moulded into shape.
Taste and buy a range of delicious cheese including brie, camembert, cheddar, feta, baked ricotta, plus their indulgent European style yoghurts.